Campus security system update a long process due to high cost

Dixie State University is updating every door lock on campus buildings and replacing them with a key card access or a pin pad lock. Electronic access allows everything to be tracked and secure for students safety on campus. Photo by Jessica Johnson.

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  Updating door locks for campus buildings comes at a price, literally, which is why the campus building security system is still undergoing the transition to key card access that began in 2016.

  Jon Gibb, director of facilities planning and construction, said the cost of hardware is roughly $6,000 per building depending on how many doors need to be re-keyed, which costs between $200 and $300 per door.

  Facilities management is — for the most part — changing the locks themselves, sometimes hiring someone to do it, Gibb said.

  “It takes longer, but the money [is spent] slower,” said Sherry Ruesch, assistant vice president of facilities management.

  The main focus is on the exterior doors of the buildings since only specific interior doors have keypad systems, Ruesch said. If a department wants electronic key card access to a specific room, the department is responsible for requesting it through the campus space committee and covering the cost.

  Ruesch said a possible downfall of an advanced security system is the possibility of a system failure.

  “It rarely is a problem where doors are unlocked where they’re supposed to be locked, but we have had that a couple of times due to a computer glitch,” Ruesch said. 

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  Physical keys are used as a back-up; each building has at least one door that can be unlocked with a physical key.

  Most of the building systems will send an alert to the computer when a door that should be closed and locked has been open for an extended time and needs to be closed, Ruesch said.

  “Electronic access is so much more secure and trackable,” Ruesch said. “I love the way the system works [by] using a key card and deactivating it when it is no longer needed.”

  Ruesch said facilities management’s goal has been to work on two buildings per year.

 Updating door locks for campus buildings comes at a price, literally.

Kristi Shields, DSN Staff Writer

  For every new building, the cost is absorbed into the overall cost of the building. The older buildings that are too outdated for the key card access are being retrofitted with a higher security style key that will allow for the key card access, Chief of Police Blair Barfuss said.

  The Ernö and Etel Udvar-Hazy School of Business is the only old building that is not yet retrofitted, Ruesch said. The George S. Eccles Fitness Center will be remodeled near the end of spring 2020, and the cost of re-doing the locks will be included in the budget for the remodel.

  Gibb said a couple buildings he knows of that still need to be updated are the M.K. Cox Performing Arts Center and the M. Anthony Burns Arena. He said he is unsure of the exact goal end date.